Canadian Contractor

Our most-viewed stories of 2014

The sudden passing of Craig Lowe, Mike Holmes' painter, topped our "most viewed stories" list for the past year.

December 29, 2014
By Steve Payne
Steve Payne

As 2014 expires, here is a list of our Top Ten online stories (in terms of page views). We had just under 570,000 visitors to our site this year – up from 375,232 last year.

The top story is a tragedy. We all wish it wasn’t so…


1. Craig Lowe, Mike Holmes’ painter, dies while scuba diving. This man was respected by so many people, not just because of his TV appearances. In our brief dealings with him at Canadian Contractor, writing stories about his work heading up Holmes’ contractor referral service, we could see what a passionate advocate Craig Lowe was for professional conduct in the home renovation industry.


2. The product that keeps basement floor installations dry. The product is DMX, and this was our top product video for 2014, too.

3. Compulsory (College of Trades) certification of carpenters will cripple the construction industry in Ontario. After we published this opinion piece by Alec Caldwell, the OCOT put the move on hold, just before the election. Now that the Liberals have their majority, many observers expect carpentry to be made a “compulsory” OCOT membership category in due course – potentially making illegal workers out of renovators in the province, as Alec continues to warn us.

4. “I am a one man handyman and the WSIB premium rate I was quoted was 9.1 per cent on gross.” This was our top VOICES post of the year. The contractor then asked, “How the hell do they justify this shakedown?” The sad answer is, the WSIB is in the red by billions and billions, and they justify this THAT way.

5. Can this new wall panel system help you finish a basement in 5 times faster? The product is DRIcore and this was the second most-viewed product video we ran this year.

6. Should the Ontario College of Trades enforcers really be hitting up contractors for credentials at Tim Hortons? Well, one of them apparently was, back last spring.

7. “We’ll go on the site and we’ll go in the site trailer.” OCOT head of enforcement Bob Onyschuk talks about all the other places, other than Timmies, that OCOT enforcers will go to look for OCOT-avoidant tradesmen.

8. Spray foam insulation: Is it safe or not? Alec Caldwell asks the question – then answers it.

9. A new Ontario Ministry of Labour course everyone has to complete. If you are an owner or a supervisor, you HAD to take this online course by July 1, 2014 – though the Ontario government would keep no record of whether you did or not. File this story under “Government Insanity.”

10. Unlicensed electrical contractor sentenced to 30 days in jail. Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority and Ontario College of Trades lower the boom. We think the ESA did most of the work, but perhaps we are biased.


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2 Comments » for Our most-viewed stories of 2014
  1. Steve…..I wanted to say thanks to you and to Rob at the Canadian Contractor in allowing your readers a voice through your pages in 2014.

    Your articles cause thought, controversy, discussion, don’t mess around, tell real stories, are not glossed up, allow your reader the opportunity to post on issues they face daily, including some crazy government laws. These laws effecting regular guys out there, while these civil servants sit comfortable at their cushy desk, with good incomes, benefits and NO clue.

    Lets continue in 2015 and push the WSIB mandatory question for self employed contractors and make it disappear or be reduced substantially under a current Bill 155. How about the scrapping of OCOT (Ontario College of Trades) and another bureaucracy not needed.

    Cheers to you all in 2015 and especially the voice of the Canadian Contractor.

  2. Questo says:

    Hi Alec, happy new year for you and your family also for all the people at this Canadian contractor journal.

    Regarding the new year in my view, the scandals will continue to a point of some Liberal ministers will quit and may also Miss. wynne wynne, that will give a chance to all trades people, to stand up and change what is wrong and prejudicial to all of us. The year 2015 in the Chinese calendar is the year of the sheep, when they get mad, wee all know what can happen.

    The gas plant scandal will have to be solve, also the hydro digital meters, which went to another waste of money, another 2 billion. The OCOT will be in hot water, I believe, with the short founds in taxation, as the oil still low, may be low for a while.

    I believe 2015 will be the year for a big changes, in special Ontario government. The bs will end, its time for it, people will wake up from the dream they were in it.

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